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Research Studies is a monthly compilation of research articles funded by AHRQ or authored by AHRQ researchers and recently published in journals or newsletters.
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Enzinger AC, Ghosh K, Keating NL
US trends in opioid access among patients with poor prognosis cancer near the end-of-life.
This study looked at trends in opioid prescriptions for cancer patients near the end-of-life (EOL) defined as the 30 days before death or hospice enrollment. The authors looked at Medicare part D data from 2007 to 2017 for 270,632 Medicare fee-for-service decedents with poor prognosis cancers. During that time, the proportion of decedents with poor prognosis cancers receiving 1 or greater opioid prescriptions near EOL declined 15.5% and the proportion receiving 1 or greater long-acting opioid prescriptions declined 36.5% to 18.1%. The mean daily dose fell from 24.5%, from 85.6 morphine milligram equivalents per day (MMED) to 64.6. The total amount of opioids prescribed fell from 1,075 morphine milligram equivalents per decedent to 666 morphine milligram equivalents per decedents. At the same time, the proportion of patients with pain-related ED visits increase 50.8% from 13.2% to 19.9%.
Citation: Enzinger AC, Ghosh K, Keating NL . US trends in opioid access among patients with poor prognosis cancer near the end-of-life. J Clin Oncol 2021 Sep 10;39(26):2948-58. doi: 10.1200/jco.21.00476..
Keywords: Cancer, Opioids, Palliative Care, Pain, Access to Care, Medication, Practice Patterns